In this episode of the podcast, Editor-in-Chief Alex Heeney goes solo to discuss the highlights of the 2023 Berlinale film festival, including Bas Devos’s award-winning Here, as well as The Teachers’ Lounge, Delegation, The Quiet Migration, and more.
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On this episode: the Berlinale 2023 podcast
- 0:00 Intro to the Berlinale & the episode
- 4:12 Here (Belgium, dir. Bas Devos)
- 12:20 The Teacher’s Lounge (Germany, dir. İlker Çatak)
- 16:59 The Quiet Migration / Stille Liv (Denmark, dir. Malene Choi)
- 23:17 Intro to the Generation sidebar
- 25:30 Delegation (Israel/Poland/Germany, dir. Asaf Savan)
- 30:15 Le Paradis / The Lost Boys (Belgium/France, dir. Zeno Gratan)
- 37:20 Wrap up
First, Alex discusses the best film of the festival she saw, Here (dir. Bas Devos), which screened in the Encounters section where it won the top prize. Next, Alex discusses two films from the Panorama sidebar (the not quite prestigious enough for competition sidebar): award winner The Teachers’ Lounge and the low key Danish film The Quiet Migration. Finally, Alex discusses two films from the Generation sidebar, a sidebar of Young Adult films for Young Adults: Delegation and Le Paradis (English title: The Lost Boys).
Show Notes on the Berlinale 2023 podcast
- Read our interview with the director and star of Ninjababy, a Berlinale 2021 Generation program highlight
- Listen to our podcast on Ninjababy
- Read our interview with the director of Brother’s Keeper, a Berlinale 2021 Panorama film which, like The Teachers’ Lounge, is also about systemic injustices in the educational system.
- Read our review of Magnus von Horn’s The Here After, which would make a great double feature with the 2023 film Le Paradis (The Lost Boys).
- Listen to our podcast on My Small Land, which screened in the Generation sidebar at Berlinale 2022. Like this year’s The Quiet Migration, My Small Land also tackled the story of a young immigrant in a country where they grew up not looking like the majority of the population.
- Read and listen to all of our Berlinale coverage from this year and past years.
Related episodes to the Berlinale 2023
- Ep. 83: Berlinale 2021 Part 1: The sidebars
- Ep. 84: Berlinale 2021 Part 2: The Competition
- Ep. 125: Berlinale 2022
- Ep. 101 Magnus von Horn’s films: The Here After and Sweat
Listen to all the related episodes. Become a member.
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Host Alex Heeney is the Editor-in-Chief of Seventh Row. Find her on Twitter @bwestcineaste.
Theme music by Chuchulahn O’Byrne.
This episode was produced and edited by Alex Heeney
The transcript for the free excerpt of this episode was AI-generated by Otter.ai.
Alex Heeney 0:18
Hello, and welcome to the seventh row Podcast. I'm Alex Heeney, editor in chief of seventh row. And today's episode is going to be a little bit different because it's actually just me. So it's a bit of a, an experiment with form. The subject of today's episode is the Berlin Film Festival, which is currently going on in Berlin. It's also sometimes described as the Berlin owl. And it started on February 16, and runs until the 26th. I'm not actually physically there, but I have been watching films from home and I wanted to put together a little episode to tell you about the films I've been watching. So I'm going to be talking today about the film Here (Bas Devos) from the encounters section, as well as a couple of films from panorama — the teachers lounge, and the quiet migration — as well as a couple of films from generation, which is the program for films about younger people, for younger people being people under 18, generally. So I'll be talking about the film, the Israeli film delegation, and the French slash Belgium film Le Paradis, also known as the Lost Boys.
Alex Heeney 1:36
So a bit of background about the Berlinale: although other folks have covered the festival for us here at Seventh Row, dating back to 2015, I only actually started covering the Berlin owl during the pandemic because in 2021, the festival was made available entirely online and the festival has kind of gone through some major changes in the last few years. Basically, the entire programming team of Locarno left and moved to the move to the Berlinale. And it's very quickly become a place where a lot of really exciting filmmaking is happening. And I think it does a great job of programming, creative nonfiction documentaries, which we really love here. And as well as fiction films from around the world.
Alex Heeney 2:29
It's a little bit like the European version of the Toronto International Film Festival, in the sense that it's not just an industry event, of course, it's it's an important event for industry. But it is a public Film Festival and audience Film Festival. And so that's something that I always really like. So, I'm going to be talking about films that are outside the competition, competition films tend to get all the oxygen out of film festival. And although there are always really great films in competition, some of the best films of the festival are always outside of competition, often because they are maybe too experimental or they're just a emerging filmmaker, or there could be all kinds of other political reasons why something doesn't play in competition. I always find that the most exciting kind of scoping that happens at a film festivals looking in what are called the sidebars, which tend to sort of get ignored by other publications. But we always discover really fantastic films there. Sadly, some of those films, you know, they will play at other film festivals, but they will never get North American distribution. I'm sure unfortunately, that's going to happen with some of the titles to talk about today. But that just means that you know, you got to watch for them at your local Film Festival and catch them while you can before they disappear. You know, if you want to hear us talk about some of some highlights from past years, we did episodes on the Berlin Film Festival in 2021, which is now members only and 2022. And some of our favorite films there have virtually disappeared. And of course, some of them you can now watch. So I suspect that today's selection will also be somewhat similar to that.
Alex Heeney 4:12
So the first film that I want to talk about is my absolute favorite of the festival so far, and it's a film that is in this new section of the festival called Encounters, which is kind of like bold filmmaking, sort of experimental filmmaking, but often kind of like still not so experimental. But if you are not into experimental film, you might still be interested in these films. And the film is Here by the Belgian director, Bas Devos. And, you know, I've actually been hearing about how great he is for over a decade from front of the podcast CJ Prince, but this is the first film of his that I've seen. He is a Berlinale regular his first film violet played in the generation section which is On this session that is essentially films about young people that are not too boring that if you are under 18, you might actually still want to watch them, which means it's always those, those, those tend to be a delight. And then his second film, hellhole played in panorama, which is sort of the sidebar that's not quite yet competition. But anything that maybe like could have gone into competition, or that is maybe a bit too slow to be in generation, even if it's about young people, that sort of panorama. And then this year he has here in the encounter section. So next stop competition. It's just like an incredibly lovely, wonderful film. It is kind of a day in the life a few days in the life of Stefan, who is a Romanian construction worker living in Brussels, and he is planning on taking a trip back home to Romania. And there is some sense that maybe he might stay there permanently, because he keeps telling people he's not sure when he's coming back. And so at the beginning of the film, he decides that he needs to empty his fridge. And by doing so he decides he's going to make a soup that he can then get with all of the remaining contexts, contents of his fridge, which he can then give to friends and family. The film was kind of watching him bring the soup to various people in his family, which is a really, and friends, which is a really lovely device of kind of summing up a life. It made me think a lot about Oslo, August 31, like how do you give the whole idea of somebody's life in a short period of time. And the soup is kind of a really lovely touch, because it also tells us something about him that he's a very sort of kind and giving person that he's thinking about these people, as he's starting to leave. And then he happens to meet out of nowhere, this woman who is a PhD candidate, I believe, who is working on studying mosses, and that kind of throws his plan off in the sense that he stops having a laser focus on getting packed and getting his car ready and leaving from Romania and starts taking out time to hang out with her and learn about moss. And they have this really lovely connection. I think what is really wonderful about the film is you kind of don't really necessarily know where it's going, you know, it's about this man who's leaving, you know, there's this, you start to see there's a connection with this woman, and she gets some voiceover and some scenes without him. So it's it's kind of a two hander, but more tipped in the direction of Stofan. But it's kind of about these two lonely people who have this momentary connection, and whether it's going to turn into something more or not, almost doesn't really matter. Because what she gives him is sort of a new way of looking at the world and finding beauty yet in it in on scene usually places because he's never really thought about moss. And he's this sort of really lovely gentle presence who, you know, gives her something bright in her life as well. Even if it's only for a short period of time.
Alex Heeney 8:21
I guess the idea of the film, you know, with the title here, and it's something I thought a lot about is whether Brussels as a place means something to all of the people who are in it, because the two central characters are both immigrants or from immigrant families. Their first language is not French, which is the language that is spoken in Brussels, and we hear them speaking to other people in their in their native languages, which are Mandarin and Romanian. And so there's already this sense of displacement because they have to speak in another tongue. And we see both of them spending a lot of time indoors. There's so many interiors with them kind of looking out these glass windows, even once the fan takes the bus, you see him looking at a glass window. And there's this sort of alienating idea of like, they're stuck inside these boxes, these buildings, these interior spaces, and they never quite feel part of the city. And yet, on the other hand, we have to find who is an insomniac who wakes up in the middle of the night every day and goes for walks and adventures in the city and explores it and the woman that he meets Shoo, shoo, you know, her part of the city is looking at the at the ground and the park is looking at the moss. And so they both have these sort of ways of being in the city that is completely unlike, you know the way most people experience the city, and they kind of share that with each other. The film reminded me a lot of a Berlinale title that I loved from two years ago played at Berlinale, 2021 wood and water, which is one of my favorite films of 2022. And that that's more of a creative nonfiction film about this woman, played by the mother of the director who goes to visit her son in Hong Kong, where the director lives and hangs out in his apartment and kind of sees the city. And that shows this contrast between city and nature and being sort of a feeling kind of foreign or alien in an unknown place. And here has some of those qualities as well, where you have these people who live in this place, but they don't necessarily feel entirely like it's home. There's sort of a disconnect. And yet, there's also beauty to be found in the city. And, you know, their connection happens. There a big connection, they first meet in a Chinese restaurant, and then their big connection happens when they happen to run into each other in a park. And she's working on her moss research. And he's like, Yeah, I can't stay late, I have to go pick up my car. And then there's suddenly this really hilarious cut to like six hours later, where he has now it's no darker. And he has clearly been spending the last six hours looking at Moss through her magnifying glass and learning about her world. Yeah, it's just it's a gentle story. It's a really thoughtful story about place and space. I'm connection. And though I'm saying there are other films that it kind of reminds me of, I really haven't seen anything like it. And it's lovely that, you know, like, there, there are romantic undertones here. But there's no, it's not necessarily something that's going to turn romantic. And it's just sort of about this fleeting connection. And we don't know, the film kind of leaves it open ended as to whether this connection is going to change how he feels about Brussels, whether he's really going to go back to Romania permanently, or what's going to happen. It's just Yeah, it's such a lovely, calming film. It's slow ish, but it never feels slow. It just feels kind of gentle. So that is kind of my like, number one film out of the festival so far. The next film I want to talk about is called the teachers lounge. And this is a film by Ilker katuk. It's set in Germany. And it is about this woman of Polish background, who is a new teacher in I guess, like she teaches grade seven, I think his math teacher and a phys ed teacher, she starts to see some injustice is happening. There's there have been some thefts. And the school is kind of starting to treat certain children as criminal and she tries to get involved and the more involved she gets, the more she kind of puts her foot in it, and causes trouble and maybe makes things worse, and at the very least, probably makes things worse for herself. It is a film that reminded me a lot of a previous panorama film, called Brother's Keeper, which we have talked about previously, we actually have an interview with the director and review of the film on the website that my colleague oilless Smith did back in 2021. And so this makes me think that, you know, we did a Sundance bingo. Because Sundance has some predictable categories that likes to program. And I'm starting to think that one that you could make a Berlin owl bingo card, and one of the categories you might have is you know story about structural injustice within the education system. That's certainly what's going on here. It's a film that is that tells you a lot about you know, it shows you how people become complacent around injustice. You know, she sees these kids getting searched, having their belongings searched and treated like criminals she sees a kid get accused of, she sees a kid who gets accused of stealing and she thinks that the claims are bogus. And instead, she starts to suspect that there is some theft going on within the teachers lounge and that it's maybe one of the teachers and she takes some secret video and ends up accusing a woman and is so certain that it's her and whether or not it is her remains kind of ambiguous. But that woman her son is sort of the troublemaking kid in her class who is also accused of stealing and the kid decides to kind of rebel because he's angry about what's happened to his mother and starts causing chaos in her class and her desire to show empathy towards this boy to see you know, she doesn't Want him punished for his mother's crimes and on the other hand, she doesn't want his mother to be on to be overly punished for, you know, stealing $5 Essentially, is what happened, she does a little test to see if she can make a trap for whoever is the culprit. She doesn't want the mother to be, you know, lose her job over this. She just wants, you know, some reconciliation, but she sort of starts things going, that she doesn't expect. They're gonna go in the way that they are, and it ends up resulting in her life being difficult, and her getting blamed and her students are not listening to her and the parents are complaining, and she's alienating her colleagues. And you can see why her colleagues, you know, just kind of let it go. And we're happy to blame the kids. And we're not really interested in sticking up for underprivileged children or you know, worrying about injustice because this is her first rodeo, but it's not there's, she learns the hard way that trying to do the right thing is, you know, not a straight line is not obvious, and that your actions can get misinterpreted. And you can end up kind of digging a hole for yourself without necessarily making things better for others. And I think the way that the film deals with all this is really thoughtful and thought provoking. You know, during the pandemic, I feel like not just during the pandemic, but in the last few years. There's a feeling of like, why are people so complacent? Why are people so happy to accept, you know, with climate change, for example, the problems that are happening, and I think this film really nails down, like why it is, especially in a professional context that people can become complacent because it like there's nothing for them to gain, there's only something for them to lose, in trying to help somebody else. So next, I'm going to talk about the panorama film, the quiet migration. And I think it's worth noting, so this is a Danish film, and it's Danish title is still love. I'm probably pronouncing that wrong, but you know, effectively that translates to still life. And I think in some ways that's kind of a more poetic, appropriate title for the film. Of course, not very SEO optimized, I understand why they didn't want another film called still life in English. But it's a film directed by and written, written co written by Maylene Choi and it's somewhat semiotic biographical based on her experiences as a
Alex Heeney 17:42
Korean adduct adoptee who was adopted by a Danish family and has spent her life growing up in Denmark. Danish is the language she speaks. But what we see in the film, it's actually the films actually about a man named Karl. The film is very much about the fact that he doesn't look like any of the people around him. So he feels constantly alienated, but he speaks our language. And that is the only culture he's ever known. You know, he has this desire to go to Korea, and, you know, be among people who look like him. But, you know, something we know and that kind of gets gestured out in the film is that he'll be an outsider there as well, because he doesn't speak the language. I guess this is kind of like another interest that the Berlinale has is programming films about immigrant experiences and the way that you can be totally embedded in a culture of the country that you now live in. But because of how you look, you're forever an outsider that was, you know, the subject of a really, really wonderful film last year called My small land, and that was about a Kurdish, Turkish immigrant in Japan about a young young woman who is maybe 16 or so that actually has distribution in Canada. So hopefully, it'll be on VOD soon. But this film, it is about a young man who's just graduated from from high school, he's about 18. And his parents are farmers. He's just moved home to the family farm. His dad is in bad shape and wants to retire. And it quickly becomes clear that the retirements going to have to happen a lot sooner than they expected. And that means that he has to take over and so they want to sell the farm to him so that they can still collect early retirement but farming. I mean, one thing I've learned from the movies about farming, especially in Europe is there is a high suicide rate in boys that because it's economically really difficult. And so what Carl is facing is like purchasing this 15 million euro farm, becoming hugely in debt. At just 18, so that he can run the farm. That was his family's farm. And he's not sure that that's really what he wants to do. And he doesn't know how to tell his parents that that is not what he wants to do. And he's not even fully sure himself, but that's what he wants to do. Or that's not what he wants to do, because it's all he's ever known. The film has a lot of these kind of lockdown shots that feel like still life still lives, where we see him always from a distance, the camera never gets very close to him. And so you kind of the feeling that you get as an audience member is somewhat like the feeling that he gets of being alienated. And you see him constantly surrounded by white people, often white people who make racist or xenophobic comments while he is sitting right there. You feel it's not just that he's not sure whether he wants to be on the farm, but he just feels alienated from the place that is his home. And of course, has some abandonment issues because of having been adopted and he worries that if he doesn't take over the farm, and his parents are going to feel like why did they adopt him, and he's not a good son. And so he has a lot of guilt involved. It's almost two hours long, I think the film could have been half an hour shorter. But I it's it's not a film that is kind of bursting with ideas. But one really lovely thing is they're all these ghosts that kind of appear to him of his imagined birth mother and of, you know, parts of Korea. And I think it's a really lovely idea of a way of showing that these sort of paths on traveled, and how he is trying to navigate and accept his situation, but also wondering about what other possibilities he might have had in life or what his life could have looked like, and also whether the future that he wants is what he wants. But also, of course, these ghosts are silent, and he's silent, because he doesn't want to talk about it. And he doesn't broach the subject. And they're not a family that really discusses emotions. It is kind of funny. As I was watching it, I was thinking about like, why was this in panorama because it's about an 18 year old, young man, that is something that could have screened in the generation section, which is all, which is mostly films about young, young people under 18, but even like 20 year olds sometimes, or 25 year olds, but those films tend to have more of a youthful sensibility in this film is definitely much more quiet and a little bit slow. So I could see that this is not a film, that would be a fun time for 14 year old and is maybe more intended for an adult audience, despite it being you know, a very relatable tale of, of what it means to be young person and how to figure out what you want. And you know, perhaps defy your parents in doing so the drama of being worried about that when maybe your parents actually won't care that much if that's not what you want. So that was that was a really lovely film. So now I'm going to talk about a couple of titles in the generation program. And I think one of the things that makes the Berlinetta unique is they actually have a program that is dedicated to films about young people and for young people. I think most film festivals tend to forget that you actually have to cultivate younger audiences, if you want to have somebody interested in going to your film festival in 10 or 15 years because those are going to be the 20 and 30 Somethings then and it's really lovely that this is a film festival that really takes young people's stories seriously, that programs films about young people that would appeal to young people so that you could take your kids to see that so that teenagers could go to the festival and find a film that speaks to their to their experiences. And you know, a festival that will appreciate coming of age stories and programs, lots of them which a lot of other festivals Don't you know, there are films in this section that are crowd pleasers, and not necessarily just art films. It's great to see especially because it's an audience film festival, a festival that really places value on that.
Alex Heeney 24:28
You know, probably one of the generation titles that we've talked about a lot at seven throw is Ninja Baby, which was a Norwegian, sort of rom com about an unexpected pregnancy and woman who realized that she's pregnant, too late to have an abortion and the sort of drama that involves with having to carry the pregnancy to term and while trying to figure out her messy life really, really wonderful film that played in the generation section. It's now out In, at least in Canada in the UK, I think at some point it's coming out it has a distributor in the US we did a podcast episode about that, comparing it to Obvious Child, its members only, I think, but you can go back and check that out. But so that feels like a film that was almost like too fun to play at other film festivals, but was a huge highlight and is one of the best films to have come out in last year. So the the two films that I'm going to talk about today are a bit more low key. The first one is an Israeli film called delegation. The film is about a group of Israeli students who make this pilgrimage as a class trip to Poland to visit concentration camps and learn about history. And you know, one thing that you that is guaranteed at the Berlinale is they will program at least a couple of films about the Holocaust or about the aftermath of the Holocaust and how we are dealing with the aftermath about the Holocaust. And so this squarely fits into that. But what's really interesting about the film is it's like when you start watching it, it's like it starts with kind of a jaunty tune, and you feel like you're watching a fun, ya film. And that kind of feels counterintuitive to a film that's going to be about visiting Holocaust memorials and visiting concentration camps. And reflecting on that history. The film, you know, it takes its time to reveal it, but that's kind of deliberate, because what the film is really about is the way that there it's become kind of like a tourist industry or, you know, even just like, make us feel bad to feel good industry, that as you see these kids getting shuffled between concentration camps, they have a survivor with them on the trip to tell them stories. And you see that their whole experience is curated, they have these conversations, as a group with the the teachers there where they're supposed to share their feelings. And there's sort of like, you know, a set script that they feel like they're supposed to follow about, you know, how emotional they were, when they went to these camps. And you know, how they really understand what happened now. And you know, it was so emotional. And sometimes it almost feels like propaganda, because one kid is like, I wasn't sure if I wanted to actually, you know, be part of combat in the Israeli army, because you actually have to join the Israeli army, not necessarily, as a soldier, but at least doing administrative work in Israel that's required as a young person. And so you start to wonder, like, is this kind of like a propaganda trip? You know, it centers around these three, three kids who are best friends, of course, because this is, you know, like, Oh, ya film there is a love triangle, there is a kind of awkward goofy boy who is in love with his best friend. And she in turn, is perhaps in love with their mutual friend who is kind of like funkier ladies man who has a girlfriend, and toys with her heart. And in so doing, also, they kind of like toy with this more awkward kid's heart, the Holocaust survivor on the trip is the grandfather of the awkward kid, like their personal drama kind of plays out against the backdrop of these visits to places where huge atrocities happen. And it could easily of tipped into something insensitive. But actually, I think the what's really thoughtful about the film is that, like, it's not enough to just visit these places. Yes, visiting them can have a huge impact and can create empathy, but just visiting them isn't necessarily going to cause empathy, or really make people understand what's going on. Because these kids, you know, they're at Auschwitz, and they're more concerned about their own personal, teenage drama than they are necessarily about history. And, you know, how do you tell these stories of the horrific things that happened in history in a way that will really get through to people so that they, you know, they really get the whole, the idea that never again, and why we say never again, the film is really kind of about the way these industries sort of create these Hippocrates. And how, you know, it takes the sort of lead character a while to figure this out. And he ends up on this little adventure of his own where he gets pulled in to the ceremony as like a token Jew to say, token things in Hebrew so that the locals can get a photo op and he's so disgusted by it, he starts to understand that that is kind of a microcosm of what's happening on his trip that are these kids really, you know, absorbing what's going on or Are they kind of just being like rich people who watch triangle sadness and feel good about themselves for having felt bad about themselves for 90 minutes and then go back to their lives having not changed one bit at all. So I think it's a really thoughtful look at this. The other generation film I wanted to talk about is called Lip parody or in English, The Lost Boys. And it is directed by and CO written by Zeno Gretel, who is a French Belgian filmmaker, the film is a bit of a queer love story, but set within a youth correctional facility. It centers around this boy, Joe, who is has recently turned 18. And he's almost finished with his sentence, and he is, you know, preparing to get his own apartment and leave and move on with his life. And just as this is kind of getting set into motion, and the end is in sight, a new boy shows up at the facility named William and there is obvious desire that they each feel for each other. And they start to sort of tentatively and secretly form a romantic relationship and connection, which is forbidden in the correctional facility because you're not allowed to have sex with other people or romance. And this puts a spanner in the works because he was already or he thought he was already to leave the correctional facility and sort of move on with his life. And now, suddenly, he has ties to this place, he doesn't want to leave because this this boy that he now has, has fallen for is kind of his only real connection. And part of what the film is about is this weird, liminal space that is this youth Correctional Facility, because of course, the boys are there, because they have committed some kind of crime. And the film was pretty vague about it, because they talk about what they've done. Because it's much more interested in the fact that they are children that they are atoning, and that they have been rehabilitated and what living in this facility does to them. For a lot of the a lot of the boys and this includes Joe, they have become alienated from their families. Like as soon as they went to court, their families abandon them, they don't visit them, they don't call they don't, right. So they don't really see anything in the outside world that is for them. By virtue of the fact that they spent so much time in this correctional facility, the boys there are sort of the closest thing they have to family. And yet, you can't really form strong connections with these people, because they could get moved to another facility, you could get out they could get out. And their bond is pretty much based on the fact that they're in this same shitty situation together. And yet, nevertheless, there is a lot of tenderness between the boys, and even the people who are the who run the center, who were the social workers and worked with the boys. You know, there is some tough love, but there's also a lot of kindness and tenderness and trying to, you know, help the boys to find their path. But when they're so disconnected from the world, it's like, What path are they going to find, and we see them going through their everyday activities where they're, you know, learning different trades, like, we see them doing metal works, and we see them like doing gardening, cleaning up of the outdoors. And we also see them, you know, cleaning their homes, we see them in classrooms, you can see that they're sort of being trained to find a profession where they can apprentice and make money when they leave. Because for a lot of these boys that have no family to go back to. And so yeah, it's it's partly about this burgeoning queer desire, which is really lovely and tender. And it's partly about, you know, is Joe really ready to leave and how much of his you know, hesitation about leaving is because William is there and how much of it was that he was never really ready to go back into society.
Alex Heeney 34:26
The The difficulty is that once you're in a place like this, if you screw up the consequences can be really, really kind of dire is quite the right word. But you know, it can be more than just a slap on the wrist, you can end up in prison, he can end up being there for for a lot longer. And you know, he's a few first a couple months away, and then a couple of days away from getting out and it starts you start to wonder if he's ever going to get out. You start they sort of start to act on impulses and emotions and there's a lot of pent up motions and nowhere to put them because they can't really form really strong bonds with the other boys because it's kind of discouraged. And because it's not really a place that is meant to be a home or a long term place. And so it's about that, that kind of limbo, and how do you survive it, and how does living in that limbo, you know, keep you stuck there and make it hard for you to get out of it and find, you know, a better life where you could be happy and fulfilled instead of sort of becoming increasingly self destructive. So I mean, it's a film that made me think a bit about great freedom, which was a film at Cannes a couple of years ago, starring Franz Rogowski, who was, had kind of a gay man back in the 40s 50s. In Germany, who spent had basically spent most of his adult life in prison and his inability to leave. And it also made me think about the really wonderful film the hereafter, which is a Danish film about a boy who actually gets out of a correctional facility, a youth Correctional Facility at the beginning of the film, and it's about how difficult it is for him to adjust back into society because his family doesn't accept him because he still has violent urges, because the world isn't set up to, you know, help him find mental health help and figure out how to control it. And the way he's really let down by the system. And this feels kind of like that film. But like, what if you, the correctional facility is sort of a safe place. And yet, the fact that you're stuck there means that it can feel impossible to get out. And that can cause people to spiral and unwind. It's a really thoughtful story. There are moments of great tenderness between the boys. And it's also a very sad story because you feel these are people who have you know, this, on the one hand, the system is there to help you and can do a lot for you, if you behave, but the system is also so hostile that toeing the line when you are kind of in a place of emotional distress, and don't really have any outlets for it can be really, really hard. And the system is unkind to you if that is what you're dealing with. So that's the end of this episode of the 2023 Berlin owl podcast. If you're interested in our past coverage of the Berlin Wall Film Festival, you can listen to episodes from the last two years. In 2022. We did just one episode, which was or Liz Smith and I discussing mostly sidebar films, and that was episode 125. Berlinale 2022 And back in 2021. These episodes are now members only. We did a double podcast feature of episodes on the Berlinale the first episode episode 83 Berlin outweighing 21 Part One covered the sidebars in the film festival. So that's like what we covered in this episode today. And episode 84 Berlin owl 2021 Part Two the competition covered the the films of the competition. I also mentioned during my discussion today the film the hereafter, which was a film that I thought about having just seen Lapera D and we actually recorded a podcast on the hereafter and also which was the first feature from Magnus Van Horn and also his second feature, sweat, so you can listen to that. That's episode 101 Magnus van Horn's films, the hereafter and sweat and that is also a members only podcast. To listen to a members only podcast you need to become a member you can do so at seven dash rho.com/join. When you become a member, you will have access to your very own personal podcast feed it's super simple to set up, you just have to click on the link to your feed in your favorite podcatcher whether that's a apple podcasts or Google podcasts or podcasts, whatever podcasts are of your choice and open the link once and then you will have access to the feed in your pod catcher. It'll just update regularly like any other podcast feed for the duration of your membership. So you don't have to log into any browser anywhere. You don't have to remember to check for new episodes every week in some separate site. It'll just be in there with all your other podcasts updating as their new episodes. So again, to become a member you can go to seven dash ro.com/join and as Remember, you'll get other benefits like a discount in our shops that you can get a discount on various ebooks, including our ebook on Kelly Reichardt films, which includes an in depth look at first cow which screened in competition at the Berlinale way back in 2020. If you enjoyed this episode, I would really really appreciate it if you would consider rating and reviewing the episode and the podcast. It is super important for helping us find new listeners and helping other film lovers like you find us. We also recently learned that if you do in fact rate our podcast you will be making a significant difference to helping us actually get listed on Rotten Tomatoes. Some throws a publication has already Rotten Tomatoes approved but our podcast we have not actually gotten approved yet and we need 200 ratings to do so. So every rating would be amazing. If you'd like to find me on the interwebs to chat with me about the Berlinetta or all things film related you can find me on Twitter and Instagram at BLS Cineaste that's BW e s t, CIF ne A S T E. You can also find seven throw on Twitter and Instagram at seven throw s e VENTHROW. Would also really love to hear from you. I'd love to hear what you thought of this one woman show episode you so you can get in touch with me by email at contact at seven dash rho.com thus, S e v e n t h dash r o w.com. Also if you are a member become a member you can chat with me in our members only community. Thanks for listening
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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